Recently, the annual temple festival was conducted at Nellitheertha. The 5 day festival went off very well and thousands of devotees attended the festivities. One of the key highlights of this year’s festival was the felicitation held for Sri Subramanya Tantri, the “tantri” for our temple.
Tantris are a special class of Brahmins revered in Tulu Nadu. They are a small sect of Brahmins who hold the rights to perform/conduct Jaatres or annual festivals in temples. In addition, all the major religious events in the temple are conducted under their supervision. Tantris are extremely well versed in Agama Shastras and therefore know all the correct rituals and mantras in conducting temple worship. During the annual festival, the chief priest of the temple takes a backseat and works under the supervision/guidance of the Tantri.
Over hundreds of years, the families of Tantris has branched out and consequently, they take turns in every temple. Nellitheertha has always come under the supervision of the Tantris from “Yedapadavu” which is a small town about 10kms from the village. It is said that as soon as Lord Parashurama created the Western coast (Parashurama Kshetra), the Yedapadavu tantris were the first to hold the Kamandala!!
Sri Subramanya Tantri is one of the Tantris from the Yedapadavu clan and has been coming to our temple for over 30 years. Under his expert guidance, the temple has progressed immensely and is today considered one of the must-see places of Tulu Nadu. We decided to therefore hold a small ceremony to honor this great Guru!
The chief administrator of the Ambalpadi Janardana temple, Sri Vijay Ballal, presided over the function. Sri Sri Lakshmi Narayana Asranna, the chief priest of Sri Kateel Durga Parameshwari temple, Sri Bhuvanabhirama Udupa, Sri Bhujanga Shetty and other dignitaries were present at the ocassion.
Yours truly got to propose the vote of thanks in the end!